Teenage years are a time for new revelations, new friendships and initial exposure to social evils. Alcoholism, drug addiction, sex – this is the age when the kids have to fight social pressures, peer pressures and make the right choices so that they can have a safe, happy and healthy future.
These are the years when parents have to deal with kids who want their freedom, but still have enough control over them so that they don’t slip away. Be as involved as possible in your child’s life. Note if he has new friends and how influential they are on him or her.
Also take a note if there are any changes in his daily habits, look for signs of withdrawal or depression and if there is a loss of interest in their favorite activities. Also, if he or she is irregular to school and the grades are slipping. Also notice if there’s money disappearing around the house and note if there is presence of medicines bottles, eyedrops or butane lighters.
Unfortunately if your worst fears are true and you realize your child is an addict; your initial reaction means a great deal on how the future events unfold. The sudden overwhelming terror may lead you to become irrational and over react. But try and not panic, stay as cool as possible.
Second, don’t feel guilty. Wallowing around in guilt will paralyze you and stop you from taking the right steps. Find the reason why your child became an addict and start working on that.
Confront your child immediately; the delay will just make it worse. Also confront your child only after you have calmed down. Confront only when he or she is sober. Since most people under chemical influence are in denial, there are chances you may require the support of close relatives and friends.
Sometimes professional intervention maybe required. Your child needs to know that you love him and you’ll hold his hand and help him through these tough times.
Determine the depth of the problem and decide the course of treatment accordingly. But remember humans make mistake and it’s how you help them correct it that matters. Prevention and precaution is always better than cure.
Maintain a healthy relationship with your children from a young age itself. Trust and honesty works both ways and a family built on this strong foundation can successfully fight the social evils together.